The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued the latest data for installation of set top boxes (STBs) in the four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. As per the data made available to the Ministry by the Multi System Operators (MSOs), overall 77 per cent of cable TV digitisation has already been achieved. City wise data shows that the achievement of cable digitisation in Mumbai is 99 per cent, followed by Kolkata (73 per cent), Delhi (66 per cent) and Chennai (59 per cent). Taking into consideration, the progress made by DTH in this sector, the level of digitisation goes up to 84 per cent in the four metros.
As may be recalled, there have been reports in certain sections of the press questioning the reliability of data given by the Ministry. During the initial stage of planning, the data was collated by the Ministry based on the information supplied by the MSOs. On perusal of the data, it was observed that there were grave discrepancies in the data, particularly the number of cable TV subscribers in the four metros furnished by the MSOs as it did not present the true picture largely due to duplication of cable connections. Industry stakeholders also felt that the data projected by MSOs are on higher side. Moreover, the data did not reflect the numbers vis-à-vis service and entertainment tax collection. In view of the given discrepancy, the Ministry has under taken the exercise to base the data on the Census of India 2011, released by the Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India.
This data has authentic figures relating to households and TV penetration in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Census data has been widely used by both government and non-government agencies for planning and policy purposes as data collection is done by house to house survey by an impartial body. Data in respect to the number of DTH subscribers in the four metros are also being collected by the Ministry on a regular basis from six private DTH operators to know their reach in the four metro cities.